I couldnt bring myself to bury her.
I couldnt bring myself to empty the ground of dirt and of earthworms and of the spindly weed roots, and fill in the ochre gap with her body. Her coffee-cream fur held her tiny skeleton from falling out when they hit her. I try not to think of miniature beat-less hearts and mute lungs. I never saw her dead, but I can imagine.
They found her on the median strip. Breathless and still by the endless whoosh of traffic.
In my mind I see Mums face; I see her heart throbbing at her feet and her cradling the dog, like a precious baby to her chest. I see the love flowing down her withered cheeks and her hands pressing into the fur, desperately releasing life from her fingertips. She wrapped her in a rainbow and buried her beneath a flowering mango tree.
When I came home she was standing on worn feet, looking forlorn and waiting for me. Around the door my little sisters freckles and cheeks are stained pink and shine in the light. Are you going to help us bury her? I look at the concrete, hallucinating and see a damp stain of a tiny body and whisper No.
I cant handle the silence, I cant handle the lack of warmth and I cant handle the death.
Sometimes I talked to her, sometimes I told her I hurt and sometimes I asked if she hurt too. Shed angle her head and regard me with big puppy eyes and Id laugh and blow in her ears until she kissed the skin of my cheeks and rubbed her face on my hair. She was always smiling. Shed always grin with blunt teeth and a long rose tongue, even when she was in trouble.
I never got many good photos of her, shed wag her tail and rush to lick the lens or cover me in canine saliva. So Id give up and just lay on the grass as shed curl into a mass of heat at my head. She slept on my stomach and sometimes under my covers, but most of the time she slept with Mum.
Mum called me outside and we sat at the edge, where the concrete cut off and the earth started, staring at our backyard; our graveyard. She told me in a little voice that losing a pet can be like losing a family member, and her voice broke so subtly I hardly noticed. I fumbled with my rings and tried to find the disarrayed dirt, only half looking.
Mum says everything reminds her of her. I go through photographs, memories that still live, even when she doesnt. I finally let myself cry. Select, Delete
And let go.